- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Sourcebooks; 1st edition (September 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1402260695
- ISBN-13: 978-1402260698
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #290,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dirty Little Secrets: Breaking the Silence on Teenage Girls and Promiscuity Paperback – September 1, 2011
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"[Cohen] seeks to identify the loose girl experience and help girls gain power over their own lives."
"Cohen (Loose Girl, 2008) returns to her signature subject: teenage girls and promiscuity...Smashing statistics, ferreting out falsehoods, and exploring a multitude of reasons behind why girls use sex to prove their worth, Cohen calls for us to "transform the culture when it comes to teen girls and sex"."
"Ms. Cohen's Dirty Little Secrets is a perfect catalyst for mother/daughter discussions. It is a safe place to start a scary talk about this issue so relevant to young women-and young men...At its heart, Dirty Little Secrets is a wake-up call. Settle in, relax, and embrace its shocking content."
"Serves as an engaging catalyst for discussions about a taboo issue."
"Dirty Little Secrets is eye-opening, insightful, and definitely an exercise in self-reflection. Most importantly, it's a conversation starter for a talk that's been a long time coming."
"A strong beginning to an important conversation. An important book for feminist and social science collections."
"Includes first-hand accounts, discussion questions for school counselors and parents, behavior assessments, and resources for teens and parents about sex and relationships."
About the Author
Kerry Cohen is the author of the memoir Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity and three young adult novels. She received an MA in creative writing from the University of Oregon and an MA in counseling psychology from Pacific University. A psychotherapist who has focused her practice on adolescent girls and issues related to promiscuity, she lives with her family in Portland, Oregon.
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Top Customer Reviews
The statistics are alarming 48% of new STDs occur among 15-24 year olds, 1 in 4 teenage girls has an STD. The author presents many more statistic and analyses, for example those about the growth of the human brain at puberty. The book is full of her study of this problem.
Despite the fact she interviewed 75 girls for the book, there are really not many case studies presented, except as bits here and there which would have made it much more readable. At times her statistics are just down right confusing.
Be prepared that her philosophy is that it is "perfectly honorable" for girls to want sex; but this is a subject no matter what your views are: that adults and yes young girls should be aware of. It is emphasized that most parents do not see this as a problem. The irony is that if girls have a lot of sexual activity it is perceived as a problem, but usually the opposite is true for the case of boys.
Much emphasis is given to the point of view of many females is that they must have someone to care about them to validate their worth.
This is not a pleasurable read, but everyone that has a daughter, works with girls, are close to them and even of boys should read this...it's a life lesson that too many are not aware of and or do not want to believe.
Whether girls and women start young or wait until they are older, we should be more concerned with why they are doing what they are doing and we as a society should work to stop shaming them for their actions and start supporting them in their desire to make good choices and to love and be loved.
Some of the girls say they want to stop their behavior but do not know how. When a guy acknowleges their existance they obcess and become needy calling and texting until the guy doesn't like them any more.
A married loose girl grows restless and seeks out other rellationships. Girls at a slumber party make-up profiles, go on web sites and talk dirty, then laugh about it. Some send pictures on phones and the pictures get passed around, so they feel degraded. Others decide dirty text is alright.
There is talk as to weather a single parent family causes a girl to be loose, a girl says her dad is so focused on taking care of her that she thinks he is a loser, all he does is go to work and take care of her. It just seems nothing satisfies them.
Some drink to get past the first time. Then, when they are called 'loose' they say, "Oh, its the drinking, that's not me.
She claims that abstinance programs do not work. They are too busy telling a girl to say 'No' and don't tell them how to say 'Yes.' Mentions movies and compares how females see the stories and how that is different than reality.
A load of information, much of which is depressing. Informatiive. At the end it features work sheets on charting the Loose Girls behavior, what causes it, and what the response was. Additional books mentioned for further study. At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women.
"...almost every girl you see. They believe in their hearts that they are worth nothing, that they have little to offer. They believe boys will pull them out of their ordinariness and finally, finally, transform them into someone better than who they are."
"They give out blow jobs like kisses and hope for love in return."
"But they aren't sex addicts or even love addicts. What they crave is the attention [which is their "dirty little secret"], that moment when a boy looks at them and they can believe that they are worth something to someone. They can believe that they matter.
Cohen wrote that despite wide-spread belief to the contrary, girls are sexual and "...have just as much sexual desire and curiosity as boys." And we know that Cohen's claim that girls masturbate can be confirmed by Nancy Friday's My Secret Garden: Women's Sexual Fantasies; thus, it isn't surprising that she shared that the Guttmacher Institute reported that:
Almost 50% of girls between the ages of 15 and 19 had sex at least once and 27% of girls between the ages of 13 and 16 had sex more than once.
Approximately 8.8 million girls between the ages of 15 and 24 acquire a STD every year.
And approximately 750,000 girls between the ages of 15 and 19 get pregnant every year - 82% of them are unplanned.
In addition, Cohen wrote that "Thirteen year old girls proudly extol their abilities to give blow jobs, which they do in the bathrooms at parties or at school. Middle and high schoolers have sex parties...and lots of adolescent girls watch porn."
Cohen makes a vital point that there's a distinction between "... acting on natural sexual feelings and using male attention and sex to fill emptiness..." In other words, nymphets enjoy sex just as much as boys do, but they often use sex to get the attention that they crave from boys and men.
And Cohen points out that the desire to get the attention of the opposite is reinforced by the media. She advised readers to "Take a quick glance at some of the top teen girls' magazines and you see these headlines [like]: "How do Get a Guy's Attention"...[and] just about every Disney princess plot revolves around snagging a man. The Little Mermaid is a perfect example. The main character Ariel doesn't even speak, and then she gives up her entire identity as a mermaid and singer to get her guy."
Cohen gives a number of examples of girls who haven't handled the distinction between being sexual and craving attention well e.g.,:
12-year-old Lana gave blow jobs regularly.
When Kelsey was in the 6th grade she gave a Burger King cashier a handjob during his break
14-year-old Lourdes met her 24-year-old boyfriend at an underage club
But psychologist Marta Meana wrote in a New York Times Magazine piece that "women's desire is not relational, it's narcissistic. It is dominated by the yearnings of 'self-love,' by the wish to be the object of erotic admiration and sexual need." Therefore, a nymphets desire for attention may be more powerful than her sexual desires, which would, at least partially, explain why so many nymphets produce raunchy cellphone pictures and webcam videos, which boys and men desperately crave. For example, Cohen shared how 15-year-old Johanna gets "...a rush from the power..." that comes from the attention she gets on the Internet."
Thus, it's a feedback loop i.e., Girls crave attention. Girls use sex to get attention. Boys crave sex. Boys give girls the attention they crave - temporarily. And a boy can only imagine how a girl feels when she gets both attention and sex - two things that she enjoys tremendously.
I related the preceding information, because I can verify Cohen's information based on my own research The Allure of Nymphets; however, the following claims made by Cohen are erroneous. She claimed that "...girls who chose men so far out of their age range also tend toward low self-esteem and depression. Many of these girls are looking to replace their abusive or difficult families with new ones." But in the prior 48 pages of the book she surmised that most girls suffer from a low self-esteem - not just the teleiophiles.
In addition, she wrote "...girls I interviewed told me they felt that teenage boys were immature and that they like how the older men treated them..." But in the next paragraph she wrote "...men who choose teenage girls tend to be immature and insecure, with egos matching those of teenage boys. Many have criminal histories..." I hope that the contradiction is apparent. And to make the claim that "many" ephebophiles are criminals is preposterous.
Lastly, Cohen warns that raunchy teen behavior can lead to raunchy adult behavior if the addiction to attention isn't held under control after marriage. She wrote "When their emptiness, their sense of being worthless, isn't healed through the relationship, they head back out there, certain it means they just didn't find the right one yet."
The Allure of Nymphets
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